Waste Management Contract

workers at the Cascade Recycling Center sort plastic contamination out of paper on conveyor belts

The City of Kirkland contracts for waste collection services with Waste Management. A new contract, with updated services, will begin on July 1, 2022. With the new contract comes increased rates, which cover increases in costs for labor, disposal, and recycling processing.

Weekly waste collection service and next-to-cart recycling options for single-family residents will continue, with the addition of some new benefits. The items we accept in recycling will stay the same.

Starting July 1, 2022, single-family residential customers will have access to:

  • More affordable bulky item collection
  • Collection of one bulky item at no added cost each year
  • Option of a food-only mini cart instead of large food+yard waste cart
  • Five yard waste extras each week during November at no additional cost
  • Expanded WM customer service hours

Recycle tricky items on July 23 at a WM Think Green Reuse and Recycling Event!
Details coming soon. Sign up for our recycle alert emails to receive recycling event notifications in your inbox.


Rate increases have been distributed across multiple steps to make each increase smaller. Rate increases are effective February 1 and July 1, 2022. More affordable bulky item rates will be available starting July 1, 2022. Reduced water, sewer and garbage rates are available for qualifying low income senior, blind, disabled, or home kidney dialysis customers.

See rates for curbside waste collection, extra material, bulky items, and special services:

2022 Waste Service Rates(PDF, 866KB) for single-family residents

年垃圾处理费率(PDF, 933KB) (simplified Chinese)


What’s different under the new contract?

New services begin July 1, 2022.

All customers will have access to extended customer service hours on Saturdays (8 a.m. - 5 p.m.).

Single-family residents will have: 

  • More affordable rates for bulky item collection (~$30-$40 per item)
  • One bulky item collected at no additional cost each year - schedule with WM at 425-587-0040 or pnwrsservices@wm.com - note that collection service may need to be scheduled farther out than usual due to increased demand when this service becomes available
  • Five extra bags of yard waste each week in November at no added cost. (We piloted this service in the past, but it is now permanently included in our contract.) 
  • Option to switch from a 96-gallon yard food cart to a small food scrap can, a new option requested by many residents

All residents will be able to drop off accepted items at additional Recycling and Reuse events hosted by WM each year.

Multi-family properties will have access to bulky collection service at affordable rates. Previously, collection of single items was not available. Service can be scheduled through the property manager. 

Businesses can have more recycling capacity. Previously, included recycling service was only 150% of their garbage and businesses had to pay more for additional recycling capacity.

Waste Management will be updating their fleet of collection vehicles to near-zero emissions models that are quieter and will produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions. New technology will help keep recycling cleaner. Aging downtown Big Belly trash and recycling containers will be upgraded in the fall. New carts will be made of post-consumer recycled plastic, further supporting the recycling system and a circular economy.

Why is the cost of waste collection service increasing?

yellow tractor atop a pile of mixed trash at the Cedar Hills Landfill Rates for waste collection service are increasing to cover significantly higher costs.

Recycling costs more than it used to. Currently, fifteen percent of what Kirkland puts in the recycling is garbage that must be removed and disposed in the landfill. Extra staff and new machinery are needed to remove the garbage that was incorrectly put in the recycling. The markets for selling recyclables to be used in new goods have also changed a lot in recent years.  

Also, King County disposal costs to throw away garbage have increased. The Cedar Hills Landfill is filling up, so space is at a premium. 

Finally, labor costs have increased substantially. Driver wages, benefits and pension costs have increased substantially over the past ten years since our previous WM contract.

How can I change my garbage cart size?

Residents can contact Waste Management at pnwrsservices@wm.com or 425-587-0040 / 1-800-592-9995 to change to a different garbage cart size. See available cart sizes and rates.

Businesses and multifamily property managers can make service adjustments at 425-587-0040 / 1-800-592-9995. See available dumpster sizes(PDF, 451KB). See rates for commercial and multifamily utilities.

How can I switch from a large food yard waste cart to a mini food scrap can?

Residents can contact Waste Management at pnwrsservices@wm.com or 425-587-0040 / 1-800-592-9995 to request a swap. Mini food scrap cans will not be available until the new contract takes effect in July. 

Are accepted items changing?

No, the items we accept in recycling are remaining the same.

Underused curbside programs for textiles and motor oil are being discontinued. Drop-off recycling options are available for both in Kirkland.

How can I lower my cost of waste collection service?

Residents, you can downsize to a smaller garbage cart to reduce your costs. Reduce how much garbage you produce by recycling and composting everything that’s accepted, using drop-off recycling options, and reducing your waste. See our tips for producing less garbage below. 

Businesses and multi-family property managers, we can help you right-size your service and provide personalized technical assistance to help with any challenges at your property. Contact recycle@kirklandwa.gov or 425-587-3812. Composting your food scraps through our no cost program could help you reduce your waste produced. Learn more about our commercial food scrap program and multifamily food scrap program.

How to lower the amount of garbage your household makes

Food-Scrap-Bucket.jpg Toss food scraps in your gray food yard waste cart 

The average family tosses a quarter of the food they buy — compost your food scraps in your gray cart instead of throwing them away in the garbage. To make it easy, we can provide a countertop food scrap pail to collect your food scraps. Request yours at recycle@kirklandwa.gov. Deliveries are typically completed within 2-3 weeks. 

Skip single-use 

Replace single-use items with reusable: 

  • Bring your own mug to get coffee 
  • Bring a reusable bag everywhere you shop 
  • Store leftovers and serve snacks in reusable containers and cloth bags instead of zippered plastic bags or foil 
  • Serve on durable plates, cups and utensils when you entertain instead of paper and plastic 
  • Clean up with washable dishtowels and napkins instead of paper napkins and paper towels 

Look for less packaging 

  • Buy from thrift, consignment and antique stores instead of buying new.
  • Use neighborhood exchange sites like Buy Nothing and Craigslist to gift and receive secondhand items without packaging. 
  • Shopping locally instead of online can reduce packaging.  
  • Buying snacks like crackers and yogurt in bulk and serving smaller portions in reusable containers can reduce trash.  

Recycle beyond the cart 

Take advantage of special recycling programs to recycle items that can’t go in your cart. 

Repair broken goods 

Fix broken items instead of replacing them. See ideas and tutorials at ifixit.com.

More waste reduction ideas

How can I get help paying my utility bills?

Discounts are available if you live in a single-family home and you or your spouse is 62 years of age or older, or is disabled, and your 2021 gross monthly income was less than: 

  • $3,375.00 if you are single
  • $3,858.34 if you are married 

Learn more about the low-income senior and disabled resident program

How did the contracting process work?

The City of Kirkland developed a draft contract based on community survey results, interviews with waste hauling companies, the community’s waste goals, and desired services. After industry review to solicit feedback from potential service providers, the City issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) in Spring 2021.  

A Proposal Evaluation Team of City staff and a representative from King County reviewed the qualitative elements of the proposal to ensure services met the community’s needs. The City also hired a consultant to analyze and model the rates. The City and Waste Management finalized the contract terms and services provided. The City Council approved the new 10.5-year contract and a 2022 solid waste rates ordinance in January 2022.

In preparation for the new contract taking effect July 1, 2022, City staff are meeting with Waste Management regularly to smoothly transition and ensure that customers learn about updated services.